We were all young once. We went through many of the same problems teenage children are going through when we were their age. Dating troubles, going through puberty, peer pressure, school anxiety and many other issues have been around for decades and will surely always be around.

The problem, though, is that there still are so many differences between today’s teens and the teenagers of the past. There are different social norms and there are new outlets for kids to go and be kids, especially with the advancements of technological innovations.

Parents communicating with teenagers have to be careful handling some of these issues. It’s important that every parent is as empathetic as possiblem, acting sensitively towards these issues no matter how silly they may seem. After all, these are the most important issues in the world to them.

Teen anxiety is no joke and can lead to serious and damaging issues later in life. Approximately 20% of teenagers will experience depression before they even reach adulthood. That’s why parents communicating with teenagers can’t simply say they’ll “just get over it.” Oftentimes, it’s not that easy for teenagers.

Bullying, as we’ve seen, is a continued phenomenon that can truly ruin children’s lives. Although school violence is decreasing as a whole, bullying has increased by five percent and now affects one-third of all students. Parents have to talk to their teens as much as they can to find out if they are being bullied or if they know someone who is either bullying or being victimized.

At one point, bullying was isolated to the school hallways and outside playgrounds. It was still a horrible happening and could harm students both physically and psychologically later in life. Nowadays, however, bullying has a much wider reach. The bullying doesn’t stop at the 3:00 o’clock bell — it can continue all night and all weekend thanks to social media. There have been so many horrible things that happened because of online bullying. Parents communicating with teenagers have to address social media accounts as well and do their best to make sure no bullying is going on.

Dealing with difficult teens can seem like talking to someone from another planet. It’s up to us to do our best to understand them and give them enough space while making sure they’re safe both in the physical world and the online realm.